Orders from Berlin
“Tolkien’s writing has a timeless quality [and] the haunting undertones of other great masters.” –USA Today
A compelling thriller laced with Simon Tolkien's signature writing style, praised by the LA Times as “half Christie and half Grisham”
With the publication of The Inheritance, Simon Tolkien was lauded as a naturally gifted storyteller who possesses a terrific command of language and a unique perception into the darker sides of human nature. Now, Simon takes readers back to the case that started it all for Trave, the hero of his last two critically acclaimed novels.
It’s September of 1940. France has fallen and London is being bombed day and night. Almost single-handedly Winston Churchill maintains the country’s morale. Britain’s fate hangs in the balance and the intelligence agencies on both sides of the Channel are desperate for anything that could give them the edge.
Albert Morrison, ex-chief of MI6, is pushed over the banister outside his London apartment. He falls to his death at the feet of his daughter, Ava, but it is too dark for her to see the attacker before he escapes. Two Scotland Yard detectives attend the crime scene: Inspector Quaid and his junior assistant, Detective Trave. Quaid is convinced that this is a simple open-and-shut case involving a family dispute. But Trave is not so sure. Following a mysterious note in the dead man’s pocket, Trave discovers that Morrison was visited by Alec Thorn, deputy head of MI6, on the day of his death. Could Thorn—who is clearly carrying a flame for Morrison's daughter—be involved in a plot to betray his country that Morrison tried to halt, and if so, can Trave stop it in time in this gripping and intelligent thriller?
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This book is a little different from all of the WWII books that I have read. Not in a bad way, of course, but different. Instead of going through all the trials and tribulations of the entire war from start to finish this novel begins in September of 1940. The United States has yet to be involved. France has already been taken over by Germany and London is being bombed day and night by the Luftwaffe. Winston Churchill seems to be one of the only ones who insist upon keeping up morale in Britain as intelligence agencies in Britain and Germany are working overtime to see what can be done to win this war.
The ex-chief of MI6, Albert Morrison, is thrown over the balcony at his apartment in London and falls to his death. The death is witnessed by his daughter but, because of the darkness in the apartment house, she is unable to see her father’s killer. Two detectives from Scotland Yard are assigned to the case: Detective Inspector Quaid and his assistant, Detective Trave. The senior detective is sure that this is a simple case involving a family problem but Trave is sure that he is wrong. Trave finds a note that was in the dead man’s pocket and also discovers that Morrison was visited by Alec Thorn, Deputy Director of MI6, on the day of his death. Trave thinks that something is fishy about this visit but can’t seem to get a handle on it. He believes that there is a plot to betray Britain that Morrison was trying to stop with the help of Thorn. However, there is a ‘thorn’ in Mr. Thorn’s side as his underling at MI6, Charles Seaforth, is the golden boy at the agency and no one is about to listen to Thorn’s ideas.
Ideas are flying back and forth between secret agents in the Nazi Government and the British Government about a plot to assassinate Churchill. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler is much more interested in invading Russia than he is in taking over England. Churchill, however, is adamant that Hitler will not invade anyone.
Quill Says: This book is extremely well written and will keep readers on their toes to discover who’s who. Also, the time period is very short and a lot has to be told in a small amount of time. This allows the tension to build quickly toward the end. While the ending is not a surprise as most readers know how things turned out there is still plenty here to explore and this novel is certainly well worth reading. A definite keeper, so enjoy!!
(Reviewed by Mary Lignor for Feathered Quill Book Reviews)
Review: Orders from Berlin (Inspector Trave and Detective Clayton #3)User Review - Jeff Crosby - Goodreads
The grandson of the master writes thrillers. This is a terrific World War II thriller set primarily in the London of the blitz. The strengths of the novel are the believable characters and the ... Read full review